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Launch of Japanese Cargo Transport to ISS Delayed to Avoid Collision With Soyuz Spacecraft

© Photo : NASA/RoscosmosThe International Space Station photographed from a Soyuz spacecraft
The International Space Station photographed from a Soyuz spacecraft - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - This is the second time the launch of the cargo transporter is rescheduled. Following a blaze at the Tanegashima Space Center, the launch was rescheduled from 11 September to 24 September.

The launch of the Japanese Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI8" to the International Space Station (ISS) has been rescheduled from 24 September to 25 September over a potential collision with the Russian Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries company said Saturday.

"The following changes will be made based on the results of the latest orbit based analysis of the International Space Station and Soyuz spacecraft. It was revealed there’s a possibility that the 2nd stage of H-IIB rocket after separation from 'KOUNOTORI8' may approach the Soyuz spacecraft", the company said in the statement.

The transporter will deliver equipment for experiments, new containers for the water storage system and the NASA system of oxygen refuelling, as well as three small satellites NARSSCube-1, AQT-D and RWASAT-1.

The launch of the Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying Soyuz MS-15 is scheduled for 13:57 GMT on 25 September. The docking is expected at 19:45 GMT. The spacecraft will deliver a three-manned crew, including Oleg Skripochka (Russia), Jessica Meir (USA) and Hazza Al Mansouri, the first ever UAE astronaut.

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